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Mixed feelings as Arik workers begin indefinite strike over unpaid salaries

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In what can be described as collapse of negotiations after several attempts to settle the differences, the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, National Union of Air Transport Employees and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria have directed workers of Arik Air to commence an indefinite strike action Tuesday over non-payment of seven months’ salaries.

According to a statement jointly signed by Abba Ocheme, Olayinka Abioye and Francis Akinjole, on behalf of the three unions,  the strike will continue until the management of Arik Air pays the arrears of seven months’ salaries and give a commitment to pay salaries as and when due.

Another condition for the resumption of air activities is total unionisation of Arik’s employees in compliance with extant labour laws and with respect to the constitution of the country.

Besides, all sacked staff in the wake of the crisis must be recalled by the management of Arik Air.

Business Hilights gathered that other issues that the unions want settled before calling off the strike include the immediate review of all employee remuneration, which they stated had remained the same since the inception of Arik Air over 10 years ago, and immediate commencement of negotiations on the conditions of service to be concluded within four weeks.

The unions also asked for remittance of pension, tax and statutory deductions to the appropriate authorities and compliance by the management of the carrier with the expatriate quota law.

According to the unions, “Towards the full realisation of the strike action, all aviation workers, in complete solidarity with their enslaved comrades in Arik Air, shall withdraw all services being rendered by third parties,” the unions said in the statement.


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